What’s New Wednesdays-Politics

With Super Tuesday approaching, and Illinois state elections not far after, this week’s WNW focuses on politics and civil liberties. Look for the display case past the Reference desk, heading towards the back of the Library. If you need assistance locating these books don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian.” If you’d like to place a hold on any of them, use these instructions on how to place holds.

Book cover image from Workman Publishing

Represent : The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office & Changing the World / by June Diane Raphael and Kate Black – “Turn ‘Can I do this?’ into ‘Yes, I can!’ A road map, tool kit, workbook, and organizer, ‘Represent‘ is chock-full of the essential knowledge that any potential woman candidate needs to know. It will help you pinpoint exactly why you want to run and figure out the position that makes the most sense. You’ll learn how to write an elevator pitch that will become your platform. Determine the impact that running for office will have on your family, your finances, your job. And take advantage of organizations whose mission is to help you win. It covers all the nuts and bolts, from filing and signature-gathering, to fundraising, managing social media, and harnessing the power of your supporters. With checklists, infographics, profiles of well-known women politicians, plus wisdom and advice from elected women across the United States.”–Back cover

Book cover image from University of Chicago Press

Conspiracies of Conspiracies : How Delusions Have Overrun America / by Thomas Milan Konda – “It’s tempting to think that we live in an unprecedentedly fertile age for conspiracy theories, with seemingly each churn of the news cycle bringing fresh manifestations of large-scale paranoia. But the sad fact is that these narratives of suspicion–and the delusional psychologies that fuel them–have been a constant presence in American life for nearly as long as there’s been an America. In this sweeping book, Thomas Milan Konda traces the country’s obsession with conspiratorial thought from the early days of the republic to our own anxious moment. ‘Conspiracies of Conspiracies‘ details centuries of sinister speculations–from antisemitism and anti-Catholicism to UFOs and reptilian humanoids–and their often incendiary outcomes. Rather than simply rehashing the surface eccentricities of such theories, Konda draws from his unprecedented assemblage of conspiratorial writing to crack open the mindsets that lead people toward these self-sealing worlds of denial. What is distinctively American about these theories, he argues, is not simply our country’s homegrown obsession with them but their ongoing prevalence and virulence. Konda proves that conspiracy theories are no harmless sideshow. They are instead the dark and secret heart of American political history–one that is poisoning the bloodstream of an increasingly sick body politic.”–Publisher description

Blowout : Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth / by Rachel Maddow – With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about how and why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election. She deftly shows how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbors, the West’s most important alliances, and the United States. Chevron, BP, and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson. The oil and gas industry has weakened democracies in developed and developing countries, fouled oceans and rivers, and propped up authoritarian thieves and killers. But being outraged at it is, according to Maddow, ‘like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can’t really blame the lion…It’s in her nature.’ ‘Blowout‘ is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, ‘Democracy either wins this one or disappears.'”–Book jacket

When They Come for You : How Police and Government are Trampling our Liberties–and How to Take Them Back / by David Kirby – In ‘When They Come For You,’ New York Times bestselling author David Kirby exposes federal, state, and local violations of basic constitutional rights that should trouble every American, whether liberal, conservative, or libertarian. Free speech, privacy, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, due process, and equal protection under the law are rights that belong to every American citizen, but are being shredded at an alarming rate all across the country. Police and prosecutorial misconduct, overzealous bureaucrats with virtually unchecked power, unwarranted searches, SWAT-style raids on the homes of innocent Americans, crackdowns on a free press and the right to protest, removing children from their parents without cause, ‘debtors prisons,’ restricting freedom of health choice, seizing private assets for government profit, and much more demonstrate how deeply our rights and our national values are eroding. ‘When They Come For You‘ uses true stories of everyday citizens to reveal how our federal, state, and municipal governments, police, lawmakers, judges, revenue agents, unelected power brokers, and even government social workers are eviscerating our most fundamental liberties. And, it shows how people are fighting back-and winning.”–Publisher description

Book cover image from Yale University Press

Clear and Present Safety : the World Has Never Been Better and Why That Matters to Americans / by Michael A. Cohen and Micah Zenko – “What most frightens the average American? Terrorism. North Korea. Iran. But what if none of these are probable or consequential threats to America? What if the world today is safer, freer, wealthier, healthier, and better educated than ever before? What if the real dangers to Americans are noncommunicable diseases, gun violence, drug overdoses–even hospital infections? In this compelling look at what they call the ‘Threat-Industrial Complex,’ Michael A. Cohen and Micah Zenko explain why politicians, policy analysts, academics, and journalists are misleading Americans about foreign threats and ignoring more serious national security challenges at home. Cohen and Zenko argue that we should ignore Washington’s threat-mongering and focus instead on furthering extraordinary global advances in human development and economic and political cooperation. At home, we should focus on that which actually harms us and undermines our quality of life: substandard schools and healthcare, inadequate infrastructure, gun violence, income inequality, and political paralysis.”–Publisher description

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